Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Movie Reviews

I stayed in and up all night watching movies on the "new" TV and VCR that I have gotten, which are right out of the 90's.
And, so it seems fitting that the 3 movies that I consumed were from that era.
96 Points
"Bruce Almighty," acclaimed "Wildly Funny," on the cover, is that to the usual Carey degree, but was also a "high-minded" comedy, dealing with the nebulous issues that I ruminate upon myself.

Matters of time, God taking a human form, and free will of man are themes.

It is one of the rare times that I have seen Jim Carey, whom I know is pretty famous from reading about him and (I now know) pretty talented. -96 pts.

These movies were given to me by Rose and Ed, my neighbors from upstairs and a couple out of a handful of residents at Sacred Heart that I speak with.

They came with the TV that they sold to me for 40 bucks and, the VCR which, I think, the just gave to me. I will have to see if they ever ask for it back.  Who, with a HDMI level DVD player and LCD TV would want their 1990 vintage VCR back? It does have "4 heads," though.
44 Points
That being said, when Ed dropped off the TV in my room, connected the VCR and then tested the rig to make sure it was working with the (2) remotes, he used the "Bruce Almighty Movie to do so.

He then stacked the rest of the 10 or so movies in the order that he thought that I should watch them, with the best ones, in his opinion, toward the top.

On the very top of the stack was "From Dusk Till Dawn," and below it, another Quentin Tarentino penned thing called "True Romance," and under that was a movie called "Lost In Space."

Since the Jim Carey movie was already in the VCR, I watched it first and and pretty sure that it will not be bumped out of its top of the stack position.

"Dusk Till Dawn," I didn't like much at all.
Tarentino deals in themes of sex and violence, and the movie was pretty much one where I only half cared about the characters. -44 Points.
"True Romance," had a better story, written by the same Tarentino guy, and I got my first glimpses of Patricia Arquette and Christian Slater on the screen.
The violence was not quite as senseless as in the "Dusk" flick. -61 Points.

The 46 bucks that I made last Friday night, has lasted 5 days, only just now running out with the purchase of more cigarettes and coffee; as I am set up to sit and watch movies all night; should I decided not to go after the recent average of 12 bucks for playing on a Wednesday night at the Lilly Pad.

I have food, weed, cigarettes and coffee.

I actually watched 3 and a half movies last night.

"Lost In Space," I can only count as a half a movie, because I wound up fast forwarding it past the predictable action, pausing a few times on the face of the younger girl that was made up with eye shadow and false eye lashes. For a journey into deep space, with mostly family members on board.
31 Points
The thing being based upon the old black and white TV series which I loved as a kid, as it came on before my bedtime of 8 PM, I think it was; as I was about 7 years old.

This movie I hated.

I yawned at the special effects; rolled my eyes at the cliche's like "the rouge guy," who had yelled at him by someone above him in the chain of command, repeatedly, some variation of "What you are doing is against regulations!"

But, sometimes (several times in this movie as a matter of fact) you just have to throw caution to the wind and break the rules in order to save the life of a heavily made up teen aged astronaut.
The cliche's went on and on.

Of course "We don't have much time!" was a line that failed to heighten any suspense, nor increase my heart rate, as I spent most of the film thinking things like: "I suppose those are foam rubber rocks tumbling down," "A lot of people are afraid of spiders so I suppose alien spiders are an ingenious addition," "What are the theater goers suppose to make of the orchestra playing as a background to the Pac Man technology sound effects?" and "That's the little boy whom I saw come on Letterman, who was like a spoiled little brat, and who yelled "Lost In Space!" to the studio audience, giving a thumbs up as he did."

Of course he thinks the movie is "really great," because he is in it; I remember thinking at the time. How many movies could the 8 year old have seen in his life to compare Lost In Space to, anyways?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ideas Abound

  • The Idea
  • 4 Dollar Monday

After having started my application process at Express Professionals, I decided to go out and busk, on a Monday night.


I have never been a fan of television, the last time I owned a set was in 1996. This was a little 7 inch screened black and white one, which would also run on a bunch of clunky "D" sized batteries. It was 1996, as stated, and the set was already old at that time. I would watch The David Letterman Show, starting at 12:30 AM, I believe, and then would switch the thing off, and get back to my music studio.

This was when I was living in a trailer park in Jacksonville, Florida, delivering pizza 45 hours per week for a Dominos on the other side of the river, and had my trailer divided into The Computer Room, and The Music Studio Room.

Internet access then involved going through America Online, or one of its fledgling rivals, and wasn't free, nor wireless, so, I stayed offline and had fun writing and keeping a Lotus spreadsheet, devoted to tracking and analyzing my pizza delivery job, in as many aspects of it as I could think of, solely so I could program that particular functionality into my spreadsheet, and tinker with it.

I had fields for hours, miles, number of deliveries, tips and other ancillary data like the number of "bad orders," which were the pizzas that went undelivered, due to their having been ordered as a prank, or to lure the driver, with his change for a 20, to an abandoned dwelling in order to try to rob him.

One time, a group of pre-teens, it turned out later, had ordered a pizza to a particular house in their neighborhood, probably so they could watch the spectacle of that particular neighbor being disturbed by, and having to frantically explain to, the deliveryman, that they hadn't ordered a pizza.

Upon my arrival, though, I noticed that around the driveway, there were parked, a car with a Pizza Hut sign on it, another with a Hungry Howies insignia, along with a Yellow Cab. Sirens could be heard nearby.

A frantic woman who was standing by the door yelled: "I didn't order a pizza. I don't know who is doing this!"

A fire truck soon arrived on the scene. This last item is germane to how I found out that the prank was instigated by a group of pre-teens in the neighborhood, as, it being some kind of pretty serious crime to play a prank on a neighbor by dispatching a firetruck to his house, the police took the matter seriously, and I believe one of the kids cracked under the brunt of the investigation. You have to be vigilant of whom you invite to your sleepover, as one of them might be a stool pigeon, I guess is the moral of this story...

But, I didn't want my spreadsheet to count this as a delivery and to dilute my "average tip per run" stat, and so I had programmed it to subtract bad orders out of the equation.

I entered my odometer reading at the start and end of each shift, along with the amount of gas that I had burned, arrived at by my filling the tank to very top, to where I could see the gas an inch away from spilling down the side of the car, so that I knew that I had replaced pretty close to exactly what I had burned.

The odometer figures went into the spreadsheet, along with whatever the price of the gasoline, down to the tenth of a cent, was, and this allowed me to add stats like; how many miles per gallon I was getting while delivering pizza, and what the average distance of each delivery was (it was 3.19 miles in the San Jose Blvd. store's delivery area, based upon over 10,000 deliveries logged into my sheet after a couple years). The spreadsheet further took the average number of deliveries per hour and subtracted the cost of the gas to deliver them from my wage plus average tip amount per hour, and calculated my "actual" wage, factoring in the cost of car repair and maintenance, and anything else I could think of to put another gadget on the spreadsheet for.

After a few years of this admittedly anal-retentive bean counting (I had statistics on 4 different stores that I worked out of) I determined that a pizza deliveryman, working out of that particular store was actually making $7.43 per hour, not the $15-$20 that he was walking out of the door with at the end of a busy shift; when it was all said and done. That would be the amount advertised on the fliers they posted looking to hire more drivers. I could have added the fine print that, for every delivery made, 83 cents is earmarked for gasoline, new CV joints, oil changes, tires, fan belts, new drivers side door handles prematurely worn out from being opened and closed 50 times a day, etc.

There is some kind of synchronicity in the universe in that, the store that I wound up working at, based upon my spreadsheet calculations, was the one with the fewest average amount of deliveries, yet the highest average tip amount. It was Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where the average tip was over 2 dollars. It was full of gated golfing communities, the home to millionaires, and the 50 dollar tip was an every-so-often occurrence.

 Some Things Don't Change

And, now, the result of my having shuffled around, seeking out a playing upon arriving in New Orleans, has brought me to the Lilly Pad, where the average number of tips is lower, yet the average amount is higher, and the 50 dollar tip is an every-so-often occurrence.
That was the computer room, and my Lotus Spreadsheet hobby; back when I had to archive the data once the size of the file neared 528 kilobytes.

But I had the little black and white TV.

Today, I got the second TV of my life, a 26" Zenith, which I will give my neighbors upstairs 40 dollars for, as soon as I can.

Things have been happening kind of strangely of late.

I already had the idea of buying a cheap old TV and then paying 30 bucks for a digital converter box, to give me access to countless channels. The picture wouldn't be "high definition," but such a drastic step up from my last "7 black and white set, that I'll be alright with it.

I'll be able to watch football this fall and, more importantly, record it while I'm busking. . I used to hate having to miss a Patriots game because the Saints were playing at the same time and I couldn't afford to miss busking outside the Superdome.

So, I had come up with the idea of getting a TV from Goodwill for maybe 25 bucks, and then pairing it with the digital converter box, utilizing its "legacy" (read: old piece of crap TV) output.
That same night, after having busked and made 46 bucks, I came upon a lot of trash that had been deposited in front of a building along Canal Street. I was on my way back to the apartment after picking up a can of food for Harold the cat. I had ridden my bike an extra 3/4 mile to that store, to save 20 cents on that can of cat food, after having discovered that the price of it at the French Quarter Walgreen's was that much higher.
There, on the pavement next to all the trash cans which were full of evidence of an office having been gutted, was a huge box full of VHS cassettes. Most of them were Disney productions; Mary Poppins, Jungle Book, Lion King, Pinocchio, etc.
I had 18 Disney titles when I got home after having stuffed all of them in my pack, which happened to be as empty as it ever was because I hadn't bought food that one night.
Enter Rose and Ed, my neighbors from upstairs. They asked me to borrow a couple bucks for gas so they could go and get more money, and when they came to pay me back, they saw all the VHS movies, and wound up giving me a VCR and selling me the Zenith TV for 40 bucks.

Idea #2

I have gotten the idea of starting a business, after getting a trailer for my bike.

The business will be delivering groceries to people in the French Quarter. I'll have to have a website (I'll find one) and have business cards printed up, and have and "app" on the site that people can load into their smart phones so that if they are elderly or shut-ins, or are having a party which they don't want to leave because the Cheese Whiz ran out; they can place a food order which will pop up on my own tablet's screen.

Of course someone already thought of it. Xavier, a cashier at Rouses Market told me that there is a guy who already does such, but added that he can't be in 2 places at once, and that as his business grows, he will hire people, but why work for someone else when I could be an entrepreneur?
Again, this isn't something that will take the place of musical pursuits and, in fact, if it is slow to get off the ground, I can stay sitting on the ground busking and, if I get an order; pack up my stuff, run over to Rouses Market; fill their order and deliver it to them.

Xavier has his own business; something to do with organizing conferences; printing up menus, arranging to have the sound system and the hall set up, or whatever conferences require.

It is further synchronicity that on the eve of my having applied for the first in 9 years, the idea dawns upon me when I am in Rouses Market, and Xavier was right there to feed me encouragement, like telling me that for $9.99 I can have business cards printed; and then go around the Quarter sliding them under doors....

Monday, August 29, 2016

Up With The Sun

I woke up about 15 minutes before the alarm from my phone on the bed with me was set to go off.
I had set it a full hour and a half before the 10:30 AM appointment with Express Professionals to "interview" for work.
Perhaps some light at the end of the tunnel in my job search...
I had taken the night off from busking after having had a 46 dollar Saturday night. Sunday Night Baseball was on the cheap little radio, and I had about 30 bucks left; and the Boston Red Sox were one of the teams playing, and plus, I had to be up and at 'em as soon as the alarm sounded. I wound up setting it 8 hours ahead at 1 AM. 8 full hours of sleep feels very "normal" to me. Anything less, and I can feel it in the morning, and after only 5 or less hours, I walk around in a world where the sunlight seems to be radioactive and my eyes feel too dry, and the waking state seems to be less enjoyable than usual.

The sleep deprived decisions that I make are prone to error also. I started back drinking once, after about 3 weeks dry, at a time when I had been up for about 60 hours, and it was in a kind of half dream state that I slithered in to The Unique Grocery and purchased what I thought would be a nutritious brunch, a bottle of hard cider, 5.5% alcohol. It would be months before those hard ciders would stop flowing again.

 I'm not messing around with setting alarms one hour before I have to be somewhere, anymore. And proof that that is a good thing is in the fact that, by the time I was out the door, I had 10 minutes to get there, 5 minutes away.

Harold was alternately laying on the bed with me throughout the night, at one point kneading my bare skin with his claws. I usually have a shirt on when I sleep but my lack of one didn't stop him from going to work.

He got out of bed and went to his dish at one point, where he stood and meowed. I got up and fed him then returned to sleep. I was feeling a bit of a headache on the right side of my head along with a slight congestion in the ear on that side. The ear thing is something that has kind of lingered in the past, back when I was just about living on peanut butter, and was drinking a lot of coffee. It feels kind of like when you put hydrogen peroxide in the ear and it bubbles and fizzes and is somewhere between a tingle and a tickle. I blamed both of the symptoms on the healthy dose of peanut butter that I had eaten the night before. It was the kind that has "fully hydrogenated oil (rapeseed, cottonseed and/or soybean)" in it.

My main course had been a soup that I had made out of pinto beans that had simmered crock pot style for a long time, maybe 16 hours, with tomato sauce and oat pulp (from juicing cooked oatmeal) and the crowning touch was a slab of pork that I had boiled in some of the water that I had done the beans in. I had thrown mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, a splash of vinegar and a couple dashes of garlic powder in after letting it cool down from the boil. I then feasted upon pork and beans, made from scratch. The ingredients are mostly what you would find in "baked beans" that are sold in a variety of flavors like honey mustard, minus the corn syrup that you would also find.

My chef friend from The Quartermaster suggested that I add molasses to the recipe, along with paprika and vinegar, to temper the strength of the molasses flavor.

I have a whole freezer full of oat pulp and my challenge for tonight's meal will be to utilize some in a recipe. I am certainly getting my fiber. The people back in the late 80's (during the fiber craze) would approve heartily. Was that before or after the shark cartilage fad? I can't remember.

But then, having the munchies, I went ahead and dabbled in gluttony by eating spoonful after spoonful of the peanut butter. At least I have discovered a link between the oils and the headache on one side of the head; and the ear.

The second time that I was woken by the sound of Harold meowing, I was too dulled by sleep to have connected the dots between the fact that he had eaten his fill and that there was no litter in the litter box.
When it dawned upon me, I jumped up just in time to see him passing the stool of a well fed cat onto the shag carpet right by the litter box, which was no longer empty (there was urine puddled in it), and there being no justification for my being angry at him since I was the one who had forgotten to pick up litter, I had to become amused  at the sight of him raking his claws across the rug, trying to bury the thing. At least now I know what the second meowing in the morning is all about.
You get what you get when you Google a generic term...

The Interview

The interview went very well at the temp place, but I was disconcerted to hear that, in order to forward the application process, I would have to take my drug test "today," or come back in 2 months.
I told Julie, as that was the name of the individual who interviewed me: "This is kind of important to me and so I want to make sure I pass the test. I might have been around some second hand smoke, and there's some gray area as to how long it takes to get out of the system. I'll probably come back in a couple months, that way I can do my own test, with one of those that you can get at CVS, the night before I come in, so I'll have no doubt..."

"That's OK. That's fine," said Julie. She seemed to admire the prudence that I was exercising.
Her bookshelf contained nothing but self help type stuff, like "The 5 Minute Manager," and "The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People." I'm sure that at least one of the publications would commend a course of action that doesn't place in jeopardy a potential source of income, and lay to waste the 3 hours spent filling out the application (I think that was Sr. Mary Theresa -no, wait, she was 2nd grade...).

"Besides, a couple months from now is when things will be starting to pick up," I added.

"Yeah, it's kinda slow now," said Julie.

There are things that I want to buy, like a tub of creatine monohydrate or even creatine "nitro" hydrate, something that I saw for the first time today.

I'm glad that chemists are assiduously striving to concoct new formulas such as that, which, if the name is any indication, brings the blessings of nitrogen into play, that molecule which is so important to plants and which is one of the gases in the earth's atmosphere.

I have equated nitrogen with muscular development ever since I used to consume something called "Nitro Fuel®" (made by Twin Labs) when I was in my 30's. I would stop my car on one of the sandy roads in the State Park in Florida, shut it off, put it and neutral and push it along, the wheels conforming to the ruts and staying on the "road." I had a bottle of Nitro Fuel on the trunk, available to sip; and boy did I push that Corolla through the sand!

They took Nitro Fuel off the market, like they have done to so many other body building products, after linking them to things like abnormal aggression ("I drank one of those things, and I was on my way home from the gym and some guy behind me honked his horn and I just got out and started punching the grill of his car...")* or the discovery that one of the ingredients is technically a steroid and/or is banned by various sports leagues.

*I actually did roll down my window and spit on a car that was rudely passing me after drinking a bottle of Grenade® Pre-Workout Energizer, guaranteed to make your workouts explode (the saliva exploded from my mouth).

The muscle growth will hopefully go hand and hand with the "labor intensive" work that I will hopefully be connected with through the Express place.
Not far from the creatine nitro hydrate on the shelf at Rite Aid was the Herbal Life® Detox formula, which you drink all 32 ounces of, washed down with a copious amount of water, and then, as the bottle advises to do, relax. Relax as you pee into the cup at the drug test lab was unwritten.

I read the ingredients, and they made my mouth water. There is creatine monohydrate in there, and turmeric, something that I listened to a whole infomercial extolling the benefits of, too lazy to get up and change the radio station.

And there were just some ingredients with names cool sounding enough to invest a placebo effect in them. Who wouldn't stride confidently into the drug test place with her head held high, knowing that she had the power of Uva Ursi Leaf behind her?

I just Googled that mouth watering recipe...

Eliminex Plus™ Blend:Fibersol 2® (Maltodextrin), Dandelion Root Extract, Burdock Root Extract, Creatine Monohydrate, Turmeric Root Extract, Rice Protein, Milk Thistle Seed Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Leaf Extract, Juniper Berry Extract, Psyllium Seed Husk, Licorice Root Extract, Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Ligustrum Berry ...

If I had the $53 bucks, I would get one now....

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Macadamia Nut Cracker Jacks And A Job

I am doing alright so far on my program of resolutely going for a brisk walk and then writing 6 pages, every day, just as Stephen King does.

Panela is unrefined sugar.
I got up and had $14.57 on the little table, up from 36 cents that  (Friday) morning.

I had spent $7.43 on food, on the way home after having made 23 bucks playing for a couple hours. I had dropped another dollar on a cigar.

The cigar was for the purpose of breaking open and then rolling cigarettes out of, using  EZ Wider papers and cigarette filters which I affix to the ends of. It is a way of smoking for just a buck, but a little heavier on the lungs.

The Rouses Market acquisitions were a gallon of "drinking" water, a can of tomato sauce, 4 bananas (eaten immediately) and a slab of what is called the Boston Butt portion of a hog.

I am pretty much pork illiterate, having eschewed it my whole life until just recently.

I was suspicious about the low ($3.19 / lb.) price of that particular cut of pork; low even for pork. I considered that pigs perhaps have fat butts (like women in Boston) and that is why it is a cheap cut; cheaper than the ifs or ands sections of the pig.

But(t?) I got a whole pound of it, and added it to my meatless meatloaf recipe.

Sugar Linked To Depression

I didn't do any sugars at all, and had no melancholia upon waking -just jumped up out of bed and started my day, no laying there thinking "Why was I ever born?" -not even for a second.

The previous morning I had, for the second time in experimenting with sugars, woken up in a state of blue funk; this after having eaten a lot of cane sugar in the form of "panela."

I had alternately bitten into a chunk of panela, and then thrown a few walnuts in my mouth, combining the two ingredients on the fly into something that tasted a lot like Cracker Jacks,® by dint of that classic treat having a hint of a molasses flavor to go with its nuttiness.

Panela has a molasses flavor and went well with the walnuts.  It went well enough that I became like a kid who eats a whole big box of Cracker Jacks® or a teenager with the munchies who does the same. I definitely used a large enough sample of sugar to make for a reliable experiment; and had the depressing dream and the heavyheartedness to prove it in the morning.

I will get a job of some sorts...

I think that the Cracker Jack® people should create such variations as walnut (and other nut) Cracker Jacks.® We live in an age of Diet Vanilla Cherry Coke® after having just plain Coke® only 30 years ago; and it think it is time for Macadamia Cracker Jacks® to take its place among the offerings at the supermarket. Just my opinion.

Now I go to run the quarter mile for the first time in about a month (since getting the bike, which supplanted the run as my form of daily exercise) down to the store for cat food and batteries for the spotlight. The 23 dollar night came at a key time, as the spotlight was growing dim upon me last night.

I'm back from running the quarter mile. I was slower than molasses and felt oxygen deprived after the first 100 yards; and my time of 2:27 ranks tied for dead last, since I started running the course about 6 months ago.

The Job

I went to the office of Express Employment Professionals, where I spoke with a Chris Carden, who seemed upbeat and optimistic about the likelihood of my being placed at any one of the jobs that they actually seem to have openings for.

It is all temporary stuff (like sweeping the Superdome out after Saints games -I heard that one pays 40 dollars flat rate, but that you are likely to find cellphones, hats, jewelry, the occasional wallet, and all the warm beer that you can drink) but, I had told Chris that I'm not looking for a "career" that will take me totally out of the music business.

We seemed to touch bases with each other after I told him: "I'm not going to get my first paycheck and then disappear for 3 days, and then come back 10 pounds lighter and shaking, looking to go back out on the job..."

"That's about our biggest problem with people," said Chris, who then visibly appeared to become more earnest in working with me, handing me his business card.

I have an appointment at 10:30 AM, Monday, and should have the application completed online by then.

Then, I just need to find out when I have to take the drug test, so I can plan upon drinking a quart of vinegar, washed down with a gallon of distilled water the day before it -no problem for someone who lives on meatless meatloaf...


Friday, August 26, 2016

6 Pages A Day; Set In Stone

I read a quote of Stephen King where he gave this post's title as the amount that he writes every morning, after a brisk walk, and a metaphor for how deeply ingrained the habit is for him.
And, so, I am going to try to do a similar thing; walk included.
I figure this could replace the "first cigarette in the morning" with good fresh air, and it may help me organize my ideas if the brain becomes conditioned to spitting them out on a regular schedule.

And, I think it would be important to force oneself to produce 6 pages even when one doesn't feel like writing or when it doesn't come easily. This would be like wearing an ankle weight on the morning walk -writing when it doesn't come easily- which would make the legs feel lighter once it was removed; making the task of writing seem even lighter on the good days.

I emulate Mr. King because he has, for the past 20 years, written books faster than I have read them. I have seldom finished reading the most recent King novel before it became the second most recent release. So, since it is set in stone that he is cranking out 6 pages a day, I guess I had been averaging less than that in my readings.

When I was in high school, we were assigned "summer reading." These were 3 books that we were to have read by the start of the next school year. It was homework to be done while on summer vacation, pure and simple.

I remember the 3 books, to be read before the start of sophomore year as, "Ivanhoe," by Sir Walter Scott, "Billy Budd," by Herman Melville, and "Silas Marner," by George Eliot. We were going to be administered a test of our knowledge and understanding of them, our first week back in school.
I did the math.

Our summer vacation ran 10 weeks. As a much younger child this seemed like a bright sunny eon; as if we would return to school a whole year older and grown accordingly. As a soon to be sophomore, and sooner than one might think, I was able to divide the number of pages which comprised the 3 books (with Ivanhoe being the gargantuan of the group with not only twice the number of pages as the Melville work, but with the text having been carefully crammed onto all thousand of them, with what must have been state of the art printing, back in Sir Walter's day) by the 72 days of our "endless summer," and arrived at the appalling conclusion that the student had to average 58 pages a day, throughout the entire summer without taking a day off to throw Jarts and run through the sprinkler.
The texts were written in the Queens English, and other sordid dialogues, like the one encountered  on the very first page of Billy Budd when a character say's: "I know der breed" (I know their breed).
 The books were hard to assimilate. They were good reflections upon the world as communicated through the pens of great writers, and they had to be swallowed whole over the course of the summer, which would have required 3 hours every night of biting and chewing.

 Add to my consternation the fact that I hadn't gotten to my calculations until I was already about a week into the vacation, after I noticed that the bookmark's advancement through Ivanhoe seemed out of proportion to the amount of summer vacation already squandered. The new figure was somewhere around 72 pages a day.

I was at a crossroads in my life, I think.

Our high school was ostensibly a preparation for our eventual matriculation to Harvard, Yale and or Oxford caliber universities, of which are said things such as; "If you don't study for at least 5 hours per night, you'll flunk out."

I could have hunkered down and bit the bullet and become a serious student, along with being an avid golfer and bike rider. But, I think I went out and bought the Monarch Notes® and told myself that the tests wouldn't be that hard, and I would be fine. I could have been Oxford material.

I think I could read Ivanhoe now, at 53, and get a lot out of it. Back then, it was just a matter of memorizing names and places and events and praying to the multiple choice gods, come test time.
So, if Stephen King can write 6 pages a day religiously, while being an avid guitarist and thespian, I guess I can.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Not Out Of The Woods

  • I'm Feeling Much Better
  • 7 Dollar Monday

 Not so much physically, but in my attitude, I'm feeling better.

I woke up with the tightness in the back of my neck which used to reside there, back before the water only fast, and the resultant dietary changes that followed it.

I had bags under my eyes, as I brewed some coffee.

I could almost tell that this would "work its way out," after I got up and stretched and started to move around.

I can understand the people who say things like "growing old sucks," if it is because of the way I got out of bed -like an old man.

Lifting my head off the pillow to turn it toward the clock caused me to groan, due to the stiffness and lack of range of motion.

Taking a few seconds to make sense of what the hands of the clock were telling me was another clue.
It was 1:30 PM, the time that I seem to always wake up at.

I had 4 dollars and 20 cents on the little table in front of me that had been barren the previous morning.

Cat Fed

I wanted to get one more can of food for Harold and did, while picking up bananas and a couple oranges for myself. This leaves enough to get fresh batteries for the spotlight.
It felt like a moral victory to have been tipped 7 dollars over the course of 2 hours of playing Monday night. It was 3 dollars from one guy, and 2 dollars from 2 others; amounts that told me I was sounding better than what would garner the standard buck as a tip.

Two of the tippers told me that I sounded good, and had broken off and returned to me from their groups of about a half dozen after they had walked past.

This still is not going to keep me in strings and batteries for the spotlight and an eventual new harmonica, but it fed myself and my cat. I'm still one bad night away from disaster; but that comes with the territory.

Harold the cat got a 37 cent can of Dollar General "Friends Forever" brand food, not on a bed of dry food, but times are hard.

Myself, I stopped at the Banks Meat store and got $1.76 worth of ground beef, which I mixed into my nominal meatloaf recipe, making it more legit.

And, I bought a pack of rolling papers for a dollar, so that, should I continue to dabble in smoking by picking up butts here and there, I can at least remove the filters that have been in someone's mouth and re-roll them. Spending 7 dollars a day on a pack; I have quit that as a habit.
The Job

I found a labor place right up the street that holds promise in finding me a dish washing job for a while or something. Even though I know that my best bet would be to talk to one of the guys that I have seen 100 times, standing outside a restaurant in his manager outfit smoking a quick cigarette. He would have seen me 100 times walking past with my guitar on my back and might at least hire me over some random person based solely upon that....

I haven't heard from Sherman, my friend in Baton Rouge through e-mail, or by Facebook. He might not check his e-mail daily and his Facebook account seems to be lying there pretty much fallow.

I will probably just go up there when I have the means, and drop in on him. I don't imagine he would object to my crashing there a couple nights while I pound the muddy pavement looking for flood cleanup work.

I have learned a valuable lesson about July and August in New Orleans, and the wisdom of preparing for it by filling my silo with strings, batteries and harmonicas and food in the pantry.

But, as I sit here, it's almost time to go out and try to maintain. I will drink some oat milk, spend a dollar on the cheap batteries that last only 2 nights; and then go out there.

Good news is that Tim, my caseworker is going to bring me to a food bank type of place tomorrow, and should I lay a goose egg tonight, there will probably be at least some tuna fish in a box that would come from a food bank type place that I can feed Harold the cat with.

I haven't figured out what to do about the cat if, and when, I go to Baton Rouge...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Flood Of Ideas

Monday was a terrible day.

But, this morning, I started to make sense of it.

I came here in August of 2011, and one of the things that I noticed off the bat, was the scowls on the faces of almost everybody here.

I understand that, a bit, after 5 years here.

There are hardly any tourists here.

There are the same number of skeezers and heroin addicted skeezers.

Last night, as I got to the Lilly Pad, I saw only 6 people at Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern.

Four of them were sitting in a row in the chairs provided for smokers who like to sit when they smoke.

One of the block skeezers, an older black man, who rides a bike was just accosting them, as I was locking my own bike across the street. I was totally sober of alcohol (196 days) and weed.

I saw the skeezer stop his bike and heard him say: "Say, do me a favor, will you?"

It was 3 guys and a lady, and I saw the lady change into a more defensive posture, one hand going to her purse and her legs crossing more tightly; but the guys seemed to actually welcome the diversion of the skeezer. I am always rooting for the tourists in such situations, hoping they will dispatch the skeezer after seeing through his skeeze. I always want to yell out: "All he wants is your money!" but, if the tourists aren't wily enough to figure that out, then who am I to interfere with the skeezers livelihood. I suppose if he is truly a talented, even gifted, beggar, than he might be just as entitled to their money as I am after playing a darned good Neil Young song. I root for the tourists out of self preservation. If they feel like they have been manipulated, or "had," by him, it might harden their hearts along with lightening their wallets before they eventually encounter me; and that might take money out of my tip jar.

There was to be no tip money at all last night.

I didn't feel like playing when I sat down, didn't have a joint to smoke to at least give me an "artificial" desire to play; and the feeling never came. It felt ridiculous to be playing for nobody at all; and to be putting all my energy into it, especially. There have been times when I have done that; when just imagining someone in the loft of the house across the street listening to me through an open window was enough to motivate me, but not last night.

I think the appropriate thing for me to have done as a busker who wanted to make at least a dollar so he could feed his cat, would have been to take a page out of the book of the skeezer at the bar, and to have spoken up to the sporadic groups of tourists that passed, perhaps saying: "Say, could I have just a dollar so I can take the trolley home and never come back?"

That might at least spawn a conversation that might lead to me playing them something and, who knows, the "dollar," may have become ten bucks.

Or, I could have said: "Man, this is ridiculous!" and again added "As soon as I get a dollar for a can of cat food, I'm outta' here and these people (nodding towards Lilly's house) can have some peace and quiet." Or almost anything.

Do you have any work?!?
I looked over to the bar and the old black skeezer was on his knees in front of the 4 tourists.
I couldn't hear what he was saying, but yes, he was on his knees in front of them; probably laying it on thick. I was still hoping that the tourists would have said something like: "Look, sir, I can smell alcohol pretty strongly on your breath. If you had money for that, you could have gotten a hamburger.

One time, I had been given some food when I was playing. The same guy was doing his "Do you have some change for something to eat?" skeeze which, seems like it is a numbers game to him as he does it in a rapid fire kind of way, receiving his answer from each tourist in turn before quickly going to the next. I offered him the Styrofoam, as it was fried food and I didn't want to eat it.
"Hell, no, I don't want that!" was his answer. I guess holding the Styrofoam would ruin his hustle.

I had hatred for everyone. I left the Lilly Pad before I got more pissed off. I was glad I wasn't drinking, or I would have been singing my venom out: "I'll just eat out of the garbage, that's OK, give your money to the beggars," or similar "lyrics."

Almost everyone that I saw, I found a reason to hate. Maybe it was the addition of sunflower seeds to my diet that day,

Then as I tried to make sense of it, it dawned upon me.

Baton Rouge just had a 1,000 year flood.
I see this as an opportunity that only comes around every thousand years for me to take the 5 dollar bus up there and get in contact with my friend Sherman and ask him if he can initially put me up while I try to find work doing flood cleanup.

There are advertisements around, offering 12 dollars an hour for such. It seems like they just want people who will show up every day. There are so many people who will get their first paycheck and go on a crack binge, missing the next 3 days of work until the money is gone; and then showing up famished and shaking with a diminished capacity for work; the "labor" trade has always been rife with them. I made a career at the labor pools, back in 2005 through 2007, just by being there every morning at 5:15 AM.

I think I could use the change of pace. I am trying to contact Sherman now, and I had better put this blog down and go do that. The only other option would be to sit here and live off water for the next week and work on a novel.

I have no food stamp money for the next 11 days; no cash; and will not even be able to feed myself or my cat for as long as I continue to not make any money.

I'm not going to call my mom and ask her to wire money; I will find food for Harold in dumpsters; and will go to the food bank in the morning with my ID and a copy of my lease and get a box of food that is going to make me sick and give me brain tumors.

Something Is Eating Me

Or, I'm going to just starve myself for the next 11 days.
I just want to be in control.

Starving myself is something that I can control; I don't need anyone's help.

I'll never knock on a neighbors door and ask for food; because my neighbors here at Sacred Heart are soul-less, sub human derelicts, lower than my cat; whose mothers became impregnated with them solely to take advantage of the welfare system, and to proliferate their race in hopes of achieving world dominance through sheer numbers, rather than education; and because immorality has no stigma attached to it in their world; by a father who is absent from the kids life, unless he is employed, in which case the whores of mothers would be playing the child support angle on him and keeping close tabs; who hadn't the resolve nor principles pursuant to keeping their noses clean of alcohol, crack, weed, tobacco and pain medications while they were carrying the kid, and all half dozen of its half siblings by a half dozen other derelict fathers.*

But, aren't they adorable?

I'm just rehashing what everybody knows already; these are the things that caused the now residents to become chronically homeless and qualify for residency here in the first place.

*Not all of them are like this, but, it's the 87% that ruin it for all of them.

I'm trying to believe in God, and to think that maybe there is an important reason for my going to Baton Rouge to clean up after the flood; one that I would never come to know if I was making decent money every night busking. That's the way you're supposed to think when you believe in God.

Maybe it's just work available at 12 bucks an hour; with no divine connection.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Short Span Of Attention Right Now

A Whole Week Off

I guess I shouldn't be sitting here blogging, I should be down in the Quarter doing my first daytime busking in months, maybe in more than a year.
Glare blocking or gang symbol?

I would be more pissed, though, after playing and making nothing than I would be "happy" after making a little bit, I have determined.

I took a Saturday night off, to go with Friday. This made for a whole week off, outside of a couple hours on Thursday night.

Of course, I'm broke and, of course, am wondering if I will find someone else playing at the Lilly Pad who had seen it open the whole weekend, and maybe had sat down and had one of the rare 200 dollar nights that the spot can always produce, instead of myself.

Such thinking can drive the busker crazy and lead to depression.

I had vivid dreams and woke up as depressed as ever this (Sunday) morning. Depressed like in the old days of drinking and consuming 5 energy drinks per day.

The dreams, too, were the typical ones, involving great heights at one point, and involving jamming with other musicians, one of them my brother (on drums) whom I haven't seen since I was his age 10 years ago. The sound in the dream was way out of balance, and at one point someone yelled "Pretty Woman," and I began playing the opening riff, but it was suddenly an electric guitar I held and I was missing notes...

The only thing missing in the dream-scape was being chased and finding myself unable to run, as if in quicksand.

Waking up feeling blue, I noted that I had left every light on in the place before having gone to sleep, and that I had screwed up Harold the cat's schedule by having overslept his normal feeding time.

Then I lay there with scenes of everything in my life that I regret and wish I could take back or do differently surfacing in random order. I threw a dart at my cat once, when I was about 13; intending to have it stick into the wall (we were in my dad's workshop) a foot or so above it, just to freak it out. The dart missed the wall and stuck into the cats rump. And the memory took its place in the slideshow that ran through my mind as I lay there this morning, realizing that I had taken the night off to sleep, and hadn't done so very well at all.

It was about 9 PM when I had made the decision to call the night off -probably just the second Saturday night that I have missed in 4 years, not counting when there were tropical storms raging.

I probably would have had about 40 dollars in my pocket now, rather than nothing, had I busked instead of taking the whole week off.

That is not a lot of money, a reflection upon the fact that I spend more when I am out there, on things that I only buy after I have made 10 times over their cost, such as the Sunday newspaper ($2.50) that takes me about 3 hours to read, longer if I do the crossword puzzle.

Sugar And Mood

Things could get really bad here. There has been a global effect to the slowness of the season, with bikes being stolen in broad daylight, etc.

These skeezers are like spoiled children. They will never know what it is like to go without, even though their whole "gimmick" is that they are forced to. When they are "desperate" (for cigarettes, alcohol etc.) they will steal. They have no choice, they don't even have money for beer!

It's too much for me to think about and try to figure out things right now. I know I need to do another water only fast; and take another stab at the addictions. It was useful to have discovered the link between sugar and mood, though.

I will need to stop smoking weed, as I don't have the luxury of being a scatterbrain with a short span of attention right now.
I Sour On Sucralose

The depression, I have deduced was caused by my having consumed a lot of "sucralose," which is a "zero calorie sweetener."

I was putting it in my coffee, my oat milk and even in a glass of tomato juice from a big can of it from the dollar store that was missing "something." -probably just watered down (what do you want for just a dollar) and hence, tasted less sweet because of dilution of fruit juices. Or is tomato a vegetable?

The result was poor quality sleep, from which I woke up repeatedly, depressed and too disoriented to get up and snap the lights off.

In the past, I had attributed this to being broke, but since I had consciously made the choice to sleep, rather than go out and play last night, I had kind of made peace with myself over it. I, instead, told myself that I had just avoided what would have been the worst Saturday night ever.

And so, through the agency of the water only fast and ensuing "elimination diet" in reverse (where you add foods one by one, rather than removing them) I was able to pinpoint sucralose, the sugar substitute as a likely cause of depression.

This doesn't surprise me. The two packets of Splenda® that I put in my oat milk, along with some cinnamon, and a pinch of salt made it taste extra sweet and delicious. Sweeter than just the plain oat milk can taste like ice cream, coming off a water fast.

And, so, the artificial sweetener it is bad for me.

Of course it is.

Is everything?

When will I take the hint and join a monastery, and live out my days in a bare room with a bed and a nightstand, upon which will be a bible and a glass of water?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ambition Be Gone

It is early Saturday afternoon.

I was up early this morning, after having skipped Friday night busking, after having been up all day Friday, after having only made a dollar Thursday night; perhaps the first night that I determined that I never should have come out. There have been other such nights when I had started to tell myself that I never should have come out, before remembering some thing, perhaps peripheral to busking, that had made it worthwhile -a conversation with someone I met, or finding something useful on the ground somewhere.

It is early Saturday afternoon, I have about 3 dollars in cash, and have 15 days to go on the food stamp card with about $20 on it. I almost want to spend a dollar on a dollar store 650 piece jigsaw puzzle, get some more coffee and stay in tonight. I am smoking too much "ambition be gone" weed.

I am considering another water-only fast, maybe 10 days. It's good to periodically go back to it. And it doesn't seem to be burning up my muscle, just whatever fat I do have; and it has been pretty amazing, the wealth of well being that has come from eliminating corn and its products from my diet.

There is little doubt that the yellow powder in the macaroni and cheese, had caused me lower back pain in the kidney region, made me feel a bit listless, and today, 2 days past the experience, produced a little bit of phlegm in my throat.

The hit and miss aspect of making money busking is starting to annoy me. I think I might be happier with a job that guarantees 10 bucks for every hour I'm on the clock, rather than take the fluctuating income from busking.

Plus, you don't have to wash dishes using all of your skills, fast as you can, doing little juggling tricks, spinning plates on your fingers, while cracking jokes, in order to get paid.

But, then again, for things to align themselves to the 18 dollar per hour average that I had maintained for a while, I would have to hit a pretty considerable stretch of over 18 dollar hours.
 In an unrelated matter, I came across this picture of an abandoned marble quarry that was in the town where my Grandparents on my mother's side lived, West Rutland, Vermont.
It is now apparently a swimming hole, having filled with water.
I wonder if they have to warn kids that the water is a quarter of a mile deep.
When I was a kid, I would be afraid to get too close to the edge to look down and could see water WAY down there.
After throwing a rock in, one could count 7 seconds before hearing the reverberating splash from the bottom. They found cars and all kinds of stuff when they explored it for some reason once, perhaps looking for a certain car.
It has taken 30 years, perhaps for rain to have filled the thing up. Still that would have to have been at a 40 feet per year level of rainfall.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Church Street Graveyard: A Short Story

I wrote this story about 5 years ago now, when I thought that I was going to be a writer. I just located it on an old website that I never use any more.

Church Street Graveyard

Nathan ducked through the ragged gaping hole, where a car had smacked into the wall of the Church Street Graveyard, pulverizing 200 year old brick and creating a way for anyone to enter; day or night.

The driver of the car had apparently thought that Church Street went straight, when it actually curved. This accident had opened a passage through which a few homeless people entered at night, to sleep. Not a whole lot of them, as there are people in this world who aren't OK with sleeping on a tombstone.

More peace and quiet for me, thought Nathan, who slept upon the tomb of Elizabeth Williams, b. 1809 d 1829...yellow fever, thought Nathan...

The tombs were all raised above ground level, away from ants, level and just a sleeping bag from being comfortable. Nathan thought that the bodies interred almost 200 years earlier, must surely have been reduced to dust, so that it wasn't like sleeping on top of a corpse. There was nothing but fertile soil under all those tombstones.

He thought about Ms. Williams at times as he drifted off to sleep, sometimes saying out loud: "Goodnight, Elizabeth" before doing so.

Then, he found the pictures.

He was looking for a place to stash some of his stuff that he wanted to keep but didn't want to carry around in his backpack, when he found a few loose bricks in the 3 foot high wall that propped up the stone.

Removing these revealed an enclosure big enough to hide his extra backpack, clothes, books and toiletries.

The backpack wouldn't fit through the gap until he emptied it, and then fed all the items in, one at a time.

Then he reached his arm in as far as he could, in order to slide the pack into the corner of it, so that if some other person came along and happened to dislodge the same bricks, his stuff wouldn't be blatantly visible. Homeless people are notorious for stealing from other homeless people what little they might have.

He was doing this when he felt what turned out to be the pictures, wedged between two decrepit bricks, having been protected from the elements these (?) years, by the tombstone.

The pictures were in black and white and looked to be from the early age of photography. They were of a beautiful woman. She was wearing the garb of the 1820's, with bodice and headdress.

At first this didn't lend itself to any particularly lustful thoughts in Nathan's mind; the clothing not actually being what he had been conditioned to think of as sexy, having grown up in the late 20th century; though, he tried to picture the lady the way a man of that period might see her, and found himself beginning to get an erection.

He replaced the bricks, but held on to the pictures.

He sat and smoked a joint. This was one of the more secluded parts of the graveyard. He had smoked weed there before, sat there spaced out and day dreaming and, because pot made Nathan horny, had even jerked off to a Victoria Secret catalogue or whatever a poor homeless guy could get his hands on, right there in the cemetery. Sigmund Freud may have been on to something with his sex and death themes, thought Nathan.

He looked around to make sure nobody was in the graveyard.

He went back to the pictures, as he slowly started feeling stoned. ...Elizabeth? Is that you?

This occasion was no exception to the rule of pot making Nathan horny.

Soon, he was rubbing his dick and drinking in the beauty of the lady in the ancient photos with his eyes.

Why not?, he thought.

He looked around again to ascertain that he was out of sight, and then began to slowly stroke himself, with the aid of some baby oil that he had stashed in the tomb; the photos spread out in an array on the ground in front of him.

He was soon having imaginary conversations with the woman, telling her how beautiful she was; seducing her, imagining making love to her, all the while bringing himself to a sexual excitement that was new to him.

The pot was kicking in. His eye lids began to flutter, producing a strobe light-like effect, and making the vision jump around and become animated, like the frames in an old celluloid movie.

The pretty woman, with each blink appearing in a slightly different aspect, causing her to MOVE. Her expressions were even changing. Did she just wink at him? Are the corners of her mouth hinting at a mischievous grin?

Nathan had learned how to let go and enjoy good pot. When he had first smoked it when younger, there were times when he thought that he was going to die, and the fear almost led to panic. But, after having had the feeling so many times, yet not died, he had learned to not worry any more, and just let his mind drift.

Nathan felt like he was having sex with a live woman. It was almost as if she were seducing HIM. He spoke to her again, praising her beauty; and she seemed to be present. He closed his eyes, but could still see an after-image of her. Talk about some good pot...

His climax was incredible, and in the throes of intense ecstasy, his eyes still closed, he felt something soft press against his lips. He might have unconsciously raised a hand to his mouth, so vividly was he imagining kissing her.

There was a perfume hanging in the air around him as he was catching his breath and he opened his eyes. The fragrance was very real. I must be smelling some flowers from around here, somewhere, thought Nathan. But then he discovered that it was coming from the shirt he was wearing. It was as if it had been splashed with it.

Later on, that evening, Nathan went downtown.

He was coming out of a coffee shop, pretty drunk because they served more than coffee there.

He had just stepped onto the sidewalk, and almost bumped into a young lady.

She stepped closer to him, met his eyes with hers, smiled and said: "Hey," in a soft and sultry voice.
She was wearing modern clothing, but it was her. The recognition stopped Nathan in his tracks.
He had just hours earlier had the most intense orgasm of his life while staring at "her" and actually talking to "her"; closing his eyes and feeling her presence so strongly. Just as he was feeling it now. It was her.

He wanted to say something, to ask her if she had ever had old style black and white photos taken of herself wearing period garb. ...'cause I think I may have found them if they were misplaced...

Before he could gather his thoughts, she quickly hugged him, and planted a kiss on his cheek. At the same time it hit his nose. The scent was unmistakable. It was the same perfume!

The feel of her body started to kindle an oddly familiar mesmerism in him.

"This is SO amazing. This is incredible!" she gasped.

He was about to ask: What? What is so amazing? but was transfixed by her eyes, which were all the more beautiful for being in color; more than he ever could have imagined.

They bore into him imploring, pleading, desperate, begging, with tears beginning to well up.

She had grabbed him by the upper arms.

"Oh, please do bring me out again tomorrow, please!" she prayed breathlessly.
Then, she left another quick kiss on his lips before ambling off in the direction of the Church Street Graveyard.

Epilogue: After covering a few yards, leaving him standing there, his head light and spinning with incredulity, she stopped abruptly, as if a thought had just struck her. She turned back towards him to say: "Whatever you do, don't bring Clara Thompson out!" and then disappeared around a corner.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Having Been Braver Than Anyone Else

Crack And Kraft Mac And Cheese

Have weathered all kinds of temptations in the past week, I finally caved in to one, in the form of macaroni and cheese, last night.

I doctored it up with things like hot sauce, salt, black pepper and a hint of garlic powder, but it was macaroni and cheese. 99 cents per box at Walgreen's type of macaroni and cheese.

This at the end of a day when I had asked a guy who is often at the weed spot about crack, thinking that I might, after not having touched any in just about 10 years, get a 10 dollar piece of it, for something "totally different," perhaps, or to deal with the temptation to do something detrimental to myself, which seems to have crept up recently.

I stopped to look at and even read some of the wine bottles in the supermarket yesterday, when I was in the store to get and energy drink, bananas and a big canister of oats. I determined that one of the 3 for $10 bottles would probably be better than the competing label at that price.

I was only looking at the very cheapest wine, a sign that I was serious about drinking a bottle. If I was going to read a bottle, knowing that I wasn't going to buy it; I would have read the label of some $30 a bottle North Coast wine that might remind me of the Colombia River Valley.

I'm sure the poetry would have been better "subtle nudge of caramel on the nose," and I've always been fascinated by grapes grown at such a high latitude.

When I was in Washington, there were clumps upon clumps of blackberries growing along the Green River and just everywhere. A lot of the bushes were bare on their outsides, where they were easy to get to; but were bursting just past an arms length inside with berries so ripe they became dislodged with the slightest pull. I had found that, if I pressed myself into the bushes, so that the thorns were starting to rip my shirt and scratch me, I could reach a veritable feast of blackberries; having been braver than anyone else.

I didn't buy wine.

And, after having thought about doing "just one" hit of crack, I changed my mind after the guy told me that he could easily get 40 dollars worth, but that 10 dollars would not be worth his guy's while...
I didn't buy crack. "...just asking...It wasn't for me, anyways...."

I bought Kraft macaroni and cheese, on sale for 99 cents a box at Walgreen's. I bought 2 boxes. I guess I knew that I would want more than just one hit.

This morning, I woke up with the soreness in my back that I had always attributed to a combination of not having the right mattress, not having slept the right way and getting old.

That particular soreness had resided, and was further ebbing along with the improvement in global body health after the water fast and having eliminated corn from my diet.

I had my first itchy sensation of the scalp in the 5 weeks since the water only fast.

Conclusion: In general, macaroni and cheese is not good for me; which is a 99 cent a box shame. And it's the crack of food.

The jury is still out on wheat, as I had blocked it off my list after a slight headache -the only one since the completion of the fast, and as far as "the orange stuff" that comes in a packet and is probably intended to be the "cheese" referred to in the products name, I think I can cross that off the list of inexpensive things that I might live off of.

I don't feel as self destructive this (Thurs) day. 

Having had the first money making weekend in a while, I had been thinking that I could embark upon the trip to the north that I have been mentioning for the past year, but only just recently as a highly probable event. An appointment next Monday with health care people is keeping me here another week. It is to get me enrolled in a way and signed up and aware of what my Medicaid care is good for, if anything; and to get the ball rolling in having teeth replaced by dentures, before I have to start blending all foods and drinking them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I'm Trying To Think

  • Monday And Tuesday Off
  • Writing A Multi Volume Novel
  • Thinking
I'm thinking about a lot of things.

I'm thinking of changing the title of one of my previous posts from "Algerians Make Contact," to something else. It is constantly being hit upon, and I suspect that it might be Algerians who are trying to make contact with their countrymen, who are stumbling upon it.

I read the thing, from about 3 years ago; and it has nothing to do with that, refers to the much lesser know Algiers the small town across the river from New Orleans, and more specifically with my encounter, on that side of the river, with a young heavyset black man, who turned out (in subsequent posts) to be "Jimi Hendrix," a guy whose last name was actually Hendrix and whose middle name was James, and who considered this close enough to go around calling himself Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi had walked up upon me as I sat at the ferry terminal with my laptop plugged in and charging and my mp3 player also charging.

Jimi, upon seeing my backpack, had correctly inferred that I was homeless, and began to tell me about great resources for the homeless that were right on that Algiers side of the river.
He described an excellent meal that was served by a place, going into detail about the corn on the cob, etc. and was imploring me to let him walk me to that place.

I had balked at the idea of stuffing my laptop and my mp3 player back into my pack and following this guy I had just met (even though he had shown me his ID in the way of proving that his name was indeed almost Jimi Hendrix) through Algiers, Louisiana, which was as foreign to me as the country of the same name.

Jimi turned out to be a weed dealer; one who flashes his legal ID around; ironic, that.

I had entitled the post "Algerians Make Contact," in regards to Jimi having thus reached out to me.

But, I know that I am getting hits on the post for probably the wrong reason.
Algiers (Louisiana)

My all time most frequently visited post is entitled "A Scary Moment."

Most Pressing Matters

When "things to do" pile up and start to overwhelm, to the point that it creates a paralysis in me, brought on by inability to decide which is the most important, and thus, which should be the first one to get to; it is not good.

I need to make an alphabetize list. Some of the things have been waiting to be gotten to for a long time.

I have an "attachment" which is like a warrant, over in the neighborhood of the very same Algiers, which a nice friendly cop here in New Orleans told me that I needed to take care of, because it was showing up on their computer screen for me and, at the discretion of the officer, he could haul me in to jail and leave it to the Sheriff's Office to haul me in front of the judge on a charge of trespassing on the rail yard in Avondale, LA.

That was the last time that I tried to hop a freight train out of New Orleans. Texas or California was the hoped for destination then.

It was almost uncanny, especially to anyone inclined to think that New Orleans has spirits that work to trap people here, how, as soon as I stepped off the train after it had stopped there in Avondale for 5 hours at that point; to run to a store; the yard cop then appeared.

There had been something funny too, about how the only bus back to New Orleans from there, which the yard cop just about put me upon; dropped me off at the very same stop that I had departed from a day earlier, on my way to hop a freight train for Texas or California. Back to square one; drawn right back like steel to a magnet; the circle of life; the spirits of New Orleans...

I am writing a story on another blog. I created the blog for just that purpose. It is going to be the length of a novel, and in fact a novel in several installments. It is going to be autobiographical, like this blog. I was tempted to try to make it a second person or third person or any other "perspective" narration, but I think I am mired in the habit of writing every thing in the first person.
The story will be linked to this blog when it's done.

My Dates Have Sprouted Roots

I need to Google "how to grow a medjul date tree, step 2," as my dates have sprouted roots, as per a successful outcome from step 1.

Gorilla Glue Gasses And Optical Health

I need to glue my eyeglasses back together after having rolled over onto them in my sleep, breaking the Gorilla Glue© seal that had been holding the arm on since I last rolled over on top of them. This is the most pressing thing to do. I don't want to buy a whole bottle of Gorilla Glue©, and so I must try to catch the maintenance guy who works here at the building to try to get a drop of Gorilla Glue©.

Then, I won't be able to wear the things for several hours; because when Gorilla Glue© dries, it expels some kind of gas that stings the eyes; you don't want to watch Gorilla Glue© dry from up close. Use theater glasses.

Then, to my caseworker Tim, to see if he can help me change my phone service to a new phone that I have which was given to me by Sherman from Baton Rouge. It was given to me about 4 months ago. It has a better camera and Bluetooth and would allow me to take pictures and then get them onto this blog more easily.

Staying In My Room
Room Changing Not Permitted

This just in: A brief conversation with Valerie who sits in one of the offices here at Sacred Heart Apartments, has brought to light the fact that residents aren't allowed to swap rooms with each other here.

It is "just in the rules" and it would be a moot exercise to postulate theories as to why this might be so.

I'm sure it would create additional paperwork, which would probably grow exponentially as more and more residents catch the fever and want to play musical rooms. And that paper would have to be "pushed" by someone like Valerie.
I'm sure they would have to inspect each room so they could correctly assign the blame for any damage; and countless other things off the top of my head that I can think of for why we are not allowed to change rooms with other residents here at Sacred Heart Apartments.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

To Make The Sugar Stick To Them

  • Find A Barbeque Pit
  • Find A Recycle Place
  • Get A Bag Of Cat Litter
  • Stay One More Week?
I demonstrate the "camera" application that is available through the computers in the computer room;
to the amazement of a couple other residents....

"Golly gee look-ee there, Cletus, they got cameras in 'em an' everything!"
Last night, I woke up right at about midnight, as Monday turned into Tuesday.
I called my weed guy who was just about to leave his place to get some food.
I decided to take a very pleasant midnight bike ride along the bike trail.
I wound up meeting him where he was getting his food, in the Quarter, which was as void of people as I have ever seen it.
Looking down the length of Bourbon Street from the Quartermaster Market, it was possible to see all the way to Canal Street without many bodies getting in the way.
Now it is Tuesday afternoon.
The only reason to believe that it won't be as dead out there tonight is that it isn't raining; at least not at this time. I had woken up last night to see the ground wet.
This is bothersome, after having made about 60 dollars over the weekend, to see it dwindle. I guess I will spend myself down to about nothing with the purchase of a new harmonica, before I waste the money on anything else.
I have an appointment next Monday to see about health care -getting a primary care physician, seeing exactly what my flavor of Medicaid covers, etc. etc. Of course I feel better right now than I have in a long time; can't think of many complaints to give to the doctor.
I must see about dental work and the inevitable pulling of all my teeth so they can be replaced by dentures. It has worked out, the fact that I broke yet another tooth recently, that my diet has been pretty much liquid throughout the same period. Oat milk, juiced vegetables....
Sooner or later I am going to want to crunch on some nuts and right now I would have to do that on just one side of my mouth. I supposed that I should count the number of teeth that I still have which are intact. I have always thought that I would get dentures as soon as one more than half my teeth become missing and the gaps outnumber the teeth in my mouth.

So, there is one more reason keeping me from traveling.
I am realizing, after thinking about it, that I really don't have to travel in the summer, since I would be spending most of my time indoors, while up in New England. I plan upon packing my heaviest jacket with me, good down to about 40 degrees.

I want to find a place where I can cook food over a red oak wood fire; maybe in a park nearby.
I want to have one of the paleo (sp?) type meals that I thrived on during years of being homeless.
Fish and vegetables cooked and roasted over a red oak or hickory or pecan fire. Something about the natural smoke I am craving. There must be a place nearby where all I would have to bring is the wood and the fish and the tin foil and olive oil, etc.....

I have about 4 pounds of aluminum cans that I have been crushing in my apartment, all of them from the era when I consumed an average of 2.8 energy drinks per day.
The "chronic" aches and pains in my neck and upper back have continued to fade off into the sunset, after the 5 day water fast that I completed and the diet that I have gradually introduced myself to upon resumption of eating.
The first glitch that I have had came after eating a whole box of Kellogs Raisin Bran in water a couple nights ago. I was craving sugar to be sure.
I felt a bit "knotted up" hours afterwards, and in an attempt to see if it was the sugar, which is a prominent ingredient in that cereal, that caused it, I bought a chunk of cane sugar which I spiked my coffee heavily with. That made me have a "pins and needles"sensation upon standing up suddenly, along with "seeing stars" but it didn't seem to tighten up my neck and upper back.
There aren't many more ingredients that I could test separately in that cereal. I know I'm OK with the raisins. Although, they are coated with malt syrup, I suppose to make the sugar stick to them.....